Category Archives: Wednesday Wandering
On the northwest part of town lies the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. It is a great place to visit any time, but especially is nice to visit when it is really cold outside. The museum has 94,00 square feet with areas divided into age-appropriate sections and specific topics. Kids can have fun in the water play area, science central, climbing, visiting the zoo section, pretending to be a vet and much much more. It really is a fun place to go. Tickets are from $10 to $13. Members and children under 3 are free. For more information visit http://www.boonshoftmuseum.org/
I really enjoy hiking around John Bryant State Park, especially on a crisp fall day. Close to Yellow Springs, John Bryant State park contains a pretty cool limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River. Part of the gorge itself is designated as a national natural landmark. There are a few covered day-use facilities scattered around the park where you can gather wood and enjoy a picnic by the fire, which is really nice to enjoy after a hike. There are ten different trails around the park for all hiking levels from beginner to advanced. There are trails that take you to the top of the Gorge and you get to walk around the rim and there are also trails that take you down along the river. From these trails you can see the rock climbers that come to the park to scale the gorge. You can also camp or fish here too. No matter what time of year you go, John Bryant State Park is a great place to go out and enjoy nature.These pictures are from summertime, as I didn’t get a chance to snap some pictures last week, but it still is very beautiful right now. To get more information on the park visit http://www.johnbryan.org/
If you like to bike, run, walk, or roller blade, you’ll want to take advantage of our local bike trails. The Miami Valley has the nation’s largest network of paved off-street trails with 330 miles of bike trails to explore and enjoy. Pictured here is the Beavercreek station which offers vending machines, water fountains and indoor restrooms. There are several similar stations throughout the Miami Valley trail system. I have really enjoyed running and biking on these trails. It is a great place to take your kids for a ride, walk or run. The trails are wide enough that you can comfortably fit a stroller or trailer and not worry about being run over by fast bikers or runners. Also, these trails, for the most part, are always open and are free. It is so nice to be able to enjoy family time or a workout and not worry about cars. I encourage you to check out http://www.miamivalleytrails.org/ and maps can be found at http://www.miamivalleytrails.org/maps-miami-valley-trails.
Today I highlight Taylorsville MetroPark, one mile east of Vandalia on U.S. 40. One of the great things about this park, as I start thinking about the upcoming winter, is that you can cross-country sky and sled here. But for now, you can go on some great hikes that give you an opportunity to view the Great Miami River and see some rock outcroppings. There are 13 miles of trails where you might get a glimpse of coyotes, deer, beavers, warblers and woodpeckers. These pictures are from a hike on the east side of the park near 2101 U.S. 40. My daughter and I really enjoyed this park. For more information visit http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/Taylorsville/Home.aspx
Today we feature the Hills & Dales MetroPark which is located in Oakwood and Kettering but owned by the City of Dayton. This historic park contains hills and ravines covered in mature and young hardwood forest. Other habitats include an area of spring seeps and associated small wetlands. I am fortunate to go on a hike every Wednesday at 10:00 am with a great group of very knowledgeable people and all are welcome though it is advertised as an adult stroll. As I get to see this park every week, it is quickly becoming my favorite park to visit. Right now the falls colors are just beautiful. In the summer you can see tons of hummingbirds, so I recommend you come back next summer even if you visit in the next few weeks. As quoted from the webpage: The 63-acre Hills & Dales MetroPark is filled with picturesque creeks, rolling hills, dense woods (including an outstanding example of Ohio natural forest), wild flowers, and wetlands, all conveniently located just south of downtown Dayton. Originally a gift from John Patterson (co-founder of the National Cash Register Company), Hills & Dales Park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm, famous for enhancing the natural beauty of a site with their designs. MetroParks has protected the character set forth by Patterson & the Olmsteds. It truly is a great park to visit. I enjoy going their weekly and seeing the park change as the seasons change. As always the MetroParks are free. For more information on this park be sure to visit: http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/HillDales/Home.aspx
Today we highlight your local library. This is a picture of our library, the Beavercreek library. Whether you live in Montgomery, Greene or any other surrounding county, your local library offers several fun and free activities throughout the week. That is especially great when the weather is bad, but even if it is a nice day outside, a trip to the library is an adventure. You may have noticed that a lot of my post for events during the week is made up of activities at the surrounding libraries. I encourage you to check it out and get a book too. My daughter and I really enjoy going once a week to check out more books and listen to stories during story time. The great thing about libraries now is you can check out books, dvds, cds and even digital collections.
To find out what your local library is doing, go to your county’s website and find your library events there. For Montgomery county go to http://www.daytonmetrolibrary.org/. For Greene county go to http://greenelibrary.info/. For Miami county go to http://www.troypubliclibrary.org/. For Clark county go to http://www.ccpl.lib.oh.us/
This Wednesday highlights Riverscape MetroPark in downtown Dayton along the Great Miami River and close to the Dayton Dragons stadium. Most of the park is on the site of the great 1913 flood. A levee was built as a result of the flood which protects the city and also provides a great view of the river and a place to view wildlife.
This park is a nice way to experience nature in the city. It includes a Dayton inventor’s river walk and invention station celebrating Dayton inventions, a Pavilion which hosts festivals events and in the winter a large ice skating rink, festival plaza, where you have a great view of a model of the Wright Flyer II just across the street, gardens and fountains, Founders’ Point marking where the first settlers of Dayton arrived in 1796 and Deed’s point which is dedicated to the Wright Brothers. While small in size, this park has a lot to offer. At the very least it is a nice break from the concrete of the city.
The visitor’s center has exhibits highlighting life in the 1880s and a county store. I admit I bought some candy corn when I was there and the price while modern was a good bargain.
There is a great short hike around Cedar Lake if you want to stretch your legs and not go too far but you can also do longer hikes as well.
At the historical farm you can experience life in the 1880s. Kids can help with morning chores like feeding the animals and collecting eggs on the third Saturday of the month. This program requires registration and you can register on the Carriage Hill Metro Park page under programs if interested. If you or your family enjoy horseback riding, trail rides are on Saturdays and Sundays for ages 8 years and up and pony rides for 2-8 year olds are on Saturdays; both are offered until the end of October. You can also take riding lessons here.
Every month Carriage Hill has at least one weekend event and this weekend is the September Event. This park is hosting a Country Fair from 10-5 on Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday. Activities include a cake walk, pumpkin rolling, recreated livestock auction, pie baking competition, barn dance, children’s games, historical exhibits and much more. Visit http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/CarriageHill/Home for more information on what Carriage Hill MetroPark has to offer. I really enjoyed wandering around Carriage Hill MetroPark and I know you will too, especially as the fall temperatures set in. Happy Wandering!
Every Wednesday I will highlight one event/activity/location that is great for family fun. This week is the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center and the Wright Memorial. Located at 2380 Memorial Road, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base atop a hill overlooking the Huffman Prairie Dam and the runway of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base sits this site. Though small in area, it offers a lot to see and do. There is plenty of green space, trees and picnic tables, so make sure to bring your lunch or a snack when you go. The Wright Memorial honors Wilbur and Orville Wright and was dedicated in 1940. The Interpretive Center is open daily, seven days a week, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Exhibits in the center focus on the Wright brothers’ development of the first airplane at Huffman Prairie in 1904 and 1905 and their flying school in 1910. Whether you are looking for a nice place for a picnic, a place to learn a little U.S. history or both, this place is a great place to visit.